I’ve seen this phrase float around all the time, and I pretty much knew what it meant. I mean literally it translates to “Glory to God alone.” That’s pretty easy to comprehend…that whatever situation we may find ourselves in, that it is all to the glory of God and God alone.
The Bible associates God’s glory with how He manifests Himself or makes His presence known. Some theologians refer to these as theophanies. He made His presence known in a devouring fire (Exodus 24:16-17), a moving cloud (Exodus ) and a still small voice (Exodus 33:18). His glory is reflected in creation (Psalm 19:1) and in His sovereign control of history (Psalm 135:10-12). His glory is made known through the life of simple human beings like you and me.
The verb form of glory, to glorify, is doxazo, and primarily denotes “to magnify, extol, praise, to ascribe honor to God, acknowledging Him as to His being, attributes, and acts, i.e., His glory. It is the revelation and manifestation of all that He has and is. When we glorify God, we are giving a display or manifestation—or a reflection—of His character. To magnify God is to make Him easy to see. Jesus said that the disciples would glorify God when they bore fruit (John 15:8). Through their actions, they would point others to God and make Him easy to see.
But what does this actually equate to in real life…. in the way we speak and act, in our mannerisms, in the way we talk about ourselves. For almost everyone, it is hard to realize when we are acting pridefully until someone kind of pops our pride bubble. We are so adept to glorifying ourselves, especially in this self-serving culture we live in. Either that, or God painstakingly humbles us, in one way or another, showing us that we are weak and fragile and desperately need His hand to control every situation in our lives. It is also usually to uncover our eyes to His sovereignty in our lives. This is a beautiful thing, not something to fear. It means that God is close and He is personal.
I pray that Satan will never try to make me think that I am more deserving than I am. For I am so undeserving of everything I have…from being here at USC, to have such an amazing family, to having so many resources at the my fingertips. All of it is from God, and I shouldn’t have any of it. But God is so loving and merciful and gracious and provides me with these things. While life as a Christian is hard, God promises to not let us walk unsustained or alone. He is journeying with us, and working through us. I pray that this next 4 years be a time of fruitfulness, where God becomes so tangible to me that I can taste and see His working in my life. I know it’s going to be tough..so the only way I can do it is through full dependence on Him. Soli deo gloria means that in whatever we do, and I mean EVERYTHING, that our sole purpose is to glorify God! To do this means that people see God through us. And that in itself is such an honor..that he ALLOWS us to glorify Him..because He really doesn’t need our praise!
God’s glory is how He makes Himself known. It is almost incomprehensible to think that He would choose mere human beings to accomplish such a task. But as Scripture tells us, we were created in His image (Genesis ) and as a display of His glory (Isaiah 43:7). You were created to make God recognizable to others—to show others what God is like. He makes Himself recognizable to us and through us. The glory of any created thing is seen when it is fully fulfilling the purpose for which it was created…and that includes you and me.